Probation, Deceleration, & Dismissal

Policies and Procedures for Academic & Behavioral Probation, Deceleration & Dismissal

 

DECELERATION AND DISMISSAL

For the purposes of this handbook, deceleration is defined as halting progression in the program while awaiting the start of a future semester to retake coursework, and dismissal is defined as being dismissed from the program without opportunity to return or continue later. Specific to the clinical phase of the program, failing a supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) and repeating that course at the end of the clinical phase of the program, is considered ‘course remediation’ rather than deceleration.

 

The following policies apply to deceleration and dismissal:

  • Failure to receive a grade of ‘C’ (≥73.0000%) in any course is considered course failure and, in the case of didactic phase coursework, will prevent the student from progressing to the next semester. Depending on the course, course exams may be able to be remediated for grade change, as noted in course syllabi. However, course grades cannot be remediated or changed once finalized by the course director.
    • In the case of a didactic phase course failure, a student will be automatically dismissed or offered the option of deceleration, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
  • Failure of more than one course in the didactic phase of the program will automatically result in immediate dismissal from the program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal.
  • Failure or remediation of more than one Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) courses in the clinical phase of the program, even if a course is successfully repeated, will automatically result in immediate dismissal from the program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal.
  • Academically decelerated students will be given a time period to consider their return to the program, typically this date will fall within 3 months of the deceleration date. The student must confirm, in writing, and by the assigned due date, to the PA Program their intent to return to the PA Program. Failure to notify the PA Program of their intended return by the due date will be considered by the Program as a declination of the deceleration offer and this will result in the deceleration offer being withdrawn resulting in permanent removal from the PA Program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal
  • Academically decelerated students who return to program participation and subsequently fail a course, fail to attain and maintain a cumulative semester 3.0000 GPA, and/or fail to meet all technical standards will automatically be dismissed from the program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal.
  • Academically decelerated students who return to program participation and have subsequent behavioral issues are subject to the conduct policy in the MPAS student handbook.
  • Upon deceleration, students are participating with the next cohort of students and, as such, will be subject to that cohort’s student handbook and student clinical handbook policies and procedures and any new tuition rates and expenses as determined by the College.
  • Deceleration automatically results in delay of graduation and additional financial burdens to the student and may affect financial aid processes.
    • Students are fully responsible for any additional tuition and fees, including changes in tuition and fees resulting from deceleration.
    • Students are advised to discuss these issues with the College’s financial aid personnel prior to making any decisions regarding returning to the program if granted the option of deceleration.
  • If decelerating, the student can miss no more than a consecutive 12-month lapse of time from continuing in the program (i.e., from the time of course failure to the time of reattempt of course). At the end of 12 months if the student has not re-entered the PA Program, their opportunity to return from the deceleration will be withdrawn resulting in permanent removal from the PA Program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal.
  • Decelerated students will be required to demonstrate maintenance of competency to resume progression in the program.
    • Decelerated students will be assigned a faculty advisor during the deceleration period whom the student is expected to remain in contact with. (The PA program policies regarding response to Program initiated emails within 24 hours will remain in effect during the deceleration). Failure to promptly respond to the advisor (per policy), or failure to complete assignments and return them by the assigned due dates, will be considered by the PA Program as the student is no longer interested in the deceleration pathway and will result in the deceleration offer being withdrawn resulting in permanent removal from the PA Program. Dismissal under these circumstances is not open to appeal.
      • This advisor is responsible for assigning continued material for the student to review and/or complete to help ensure the student maintains competency on Program taught materials in order to be successful upon return to the Program.

 

  • Demonstrating competency may involve retaking previously completed courses, successfully completing a cumulative written and practical examination within one month of rejoining the program, and/or other activities deemed necessary by the Program. As decelerated students are participating with the next cohort of students, these evaluations will be comprised of material covered in the sequence of the cohort the decelerated student will be joining upon return to the program. These requirements must be completed prior to resumption of the program.
  • If required to retake previously completed courses, students are responsible for any associated tuition and fees.

 

ACADEMIC PROBATION/ACADEMIC DECELERATION/ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

These policies apply to academic performance only, academic infractions (e.g., honor code violations etc) are addressed under the Behavioral Policy section below.

  • The following students are automatically placed on academic probation and may be subject to deceleration or dismissal:
    • Any student who fails to attain and/or maintain a 3.0000 cumulative semester GPA.
    • Any student required to remediate a Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) course.
    • Any student subject to academic deceleration.
  • Students on probation or at risk for probation, may be required to meet with the following individuals/centers by the Student Progression Committee:
    • Academic Advisor
    • Student Progression Committee
    • Powell Resource Center
  • In the didactic phase of the program, a course failure will result in automatic academic probation and either deceleration or dismissal from the program, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
  • In the clinical phase of the program, any failing grade on a SCPE course will result in automatic academic probation and either required course repeat (i.e., course remediation), deceleration, or dismissal, depending on the reason(s) for failure of the clinical rotation experience, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
    • If the reasons are deemed significant enough, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee, the student may be dismissed from the program.
    • If the reasons are deemed remediable within the structure of the Program, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee, students who fail to achieve the required grade in a SCPE course may be given the opportunity to repeat the course after all other SCPEs are completed; this will automatically result in academic probation and a delay of graduation.
    • If the student fails to achieve a passing grade upon the second attempt of the SCPE course or fails another SCPE course, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  • Students cannot be on academic probation for more than two semesters consecutively.
    • If students are not taken off academic probation in the third consecutive semester, they are subject to either deceleration or dismissal from the program, at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
  • Students placed on academic probation may be removed from any program, school, and/or college student leadership roles and student committee participation at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
  • Academic performance related probation, deceleration, or dismissal decisions are not open to appeal. Academic infractions are covered under the Behavioral Probation/Behavioral Dismissal Policies.
  • If a behavioral or conduct issue is involved along with academic, the policies governing behavioral probation and dismissal will be applied at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.

 

BEHAVIORAL PROBATION/BEHAVIORAL DISMISSAL

A student, faculty member, administrative officer, or employee of the College may charge a student with a conduct violation. Further, complaints from SCPE sites or the community, at the discretion of the Program Director, will be investigated thoroughly by the Student Progression Committee as the program expects student professionalism to be maintained at all times.

 

Students found to be in violation of the student conduct policies/standards and/or unable to meet the Program defined technical standards are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program. Students placed on behavioral probation are immediately removed from any program, school, and/or college student leadership roles and student committee participation and are not able to serve as mentors to other students.

 

Depending on the violation, and at the discretion of the Department Chair/Program Director, students may be referred to the Student Progression Committee for determination of recommended disposition (i.e., probation vs. deceleration vs. dismissal). Egregious violations, including, but not limited to, issues of cheating and/or plagiarism (also termed an academic infraction), and issues adversely affecting the safety and welfare of others involved in the college and/or clinical sites (e.g., classmates, principal faculty, instructional faculty, staff, patients, campus/clinical site visitors) may result in consequences up to and including immediate dismissal at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.

 

  • Examples of egregious violations, whether or not the act was successfully implemented, include, but are not limited to:
    • Issues of cheating and/or plagiarism
    • Issues related to exam security, including but not limited to duplicating or attempting to duplicate formative or summative evaluation material (e.g., quiz. exam. Kahoot questions), and offering to share or sharing previous summative or formative evaluation material with others
    • Issues adversely affecting the safety and welfare of others, including but not limited to, E&H students, faculty, staff, contracted workers, clinical preceptors, clinical staff, or patients.
      • Such issues include any form of harassment, abuse, belligerent behavior, or use of derogatory and/or harmful language or gestures.
      • Examples of belligerent behavior include behavior that is hostile, aggressive, threatening, antagonistic, confrontational, argumentative, quarrelsome, contentious, or combative.

 

Depending on the violation, the following levels of decision making will be applied:

 

  • Level 1 Initial minor (i.e., non-egregious violations)
    • Decided at the Course Director level- Any reporter of a student infraction may relay a complaint regarding academic or behavioral infractions to a course faculty member (course instructor or course director) or a mentor/faculty advisor, or other program faculty, who then reports the behavior to the Course Director.
    • For non-egregious violations (egregious violations automatically follow Step 2), the Course Director may apply any or all of the following:
      • Written warning (e.g., PDAT deduction) with potential grade deduction
      • Potential zero grade on academic evaluation (if occurring as part of the violation)
      • Academic counseling from the Course Director and/or Department Chair/Program Director and/or faculty advisor.
      • At the discretion of the Program Director, possible referral to Student Progression Committee
      • Any investigation, findings, decisions, or counseling will be well-documented by the Course Director and placed in the student encounter file.
    • Decisions at this level fall completely within the purview of the Course Director of a course. The Course Director may apply any consequences to non-egregious behavioral issues as are covered in the course syllabi (e.g., arriving late to a practical or clinical evaluation will result in automatic zero on the evaluation if the tardiness is not excused by the Course Director). These decisions are not open to appeal.
      • If a student feels a policy has been inappropriately applied they may seek a meeting with the Program Director to discuss the Course Director decision. The Program Director may uphold the Course Director decision or, at the Program Director’s discretion, refer the matter to the Student Progression Committee for further investigation and adjudication.

 

  • Level 2 Repetitive minor (i.e., >1 non-egregious) or Egregious violations
    • Decided at the Student Progression Committee Level-
    • A faculty member or course director may report a suspected level 2 academic or behavioral infraction to the Program Director who may initiate referral to the Student Progression Committee for investigation of the allegation. Convening the Student Progression Committee is at the discretion of the Program Director, who will be apprised of a situation by faculty or a Course Director but with no disclosure of student specific identifiers.
    • (See Student Rights with regards to meeting with the Student Progression Committee below).
    • For repetitive (i.e., >1) non-egregious and any egregious violation, any or all of the following may occur at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee:
      • All items listed in Level 1
      • Consideration of mandatory meetings with faculty advisor and/or other entities along with other assignments as deemed necessary by SPC (e.g., Reflective Writing assignment).
      • For repeated non-egregious violations, consideration of behavioral probation* (please see section below regarding more than one episode of behavioral probation)
      • For egregious violations, automatic placement on behavioral probation*

or consideration for deceleration or dismissal at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee, depending on the nature of the violation

  • For issues related to exam security and/or issues adversely affecting the safety and welfare of others, consequences up to and including deceleration or dismissal from the program may be applied at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.

 

  • Level 3 Department Chair Level
    • A student may appeal the Student Progression Committee decision from Level 2 regarding academic or behavioral infractions to the Department Chair, in writing, within five (5) business days of the notification from the Committee Chair of the committee’s decision
    • The Department Chair investigates the allegations and proceedings, meeting with the student, along with an observer not involved in the process
    • After reviewing all information regarding the case, the options available to the Chair are:
      • Affirm the action taken by the Student Progression Committee
      • Accept the student appeal and overturn the action taken by the Student Progression Committee
      • The student does not have the option to appeal the Chair’s final decision however, if the student feels the MPAS program incorrectly applied a policy, the student has the right to appeal the process of the decision-making to Level 4

 

  • Level 4 The Health Science Academic Standards Committee level (HSASC)
    • Students may appeal the decision-making process to the HSASC in writing within five (5) business days of the notification of the Department Chair’s decision at Level 3
    • Students may only appeal a Level 2 or Level 3 process
    • The HSASC investigates the steps in charging the student and the due process afforded the student
    • The options available to the HSASC are:
      • Confirm the correct adjudication of the case and uphold the corrective action
      • OR Refer the case back to the program-level evaluation for further deliberation
      • The HSASC does NOT reinvestigate the conduct charge(s) but rather ensures the program followed proper procedure as outlined in the MPAS program handbook.

 

Student Rights regarding a required meeting with the Student Progression Committee:

  • Students will be notified by the Student Progression Committee Chair in writing, of their required attendance at the committee meeting, no less than 24 hours in advance of the required meeting.
  • Students will be informed of whether the alleged violation falls under the programs academic or behavioral policies so that student(s) are given an opportunity to review the appropriate policy prior to their meeting with the Student Progressions Committee. The exact allegation will not be given to the student in advance of the meeting.
  • Students will be advised that the committee meeting is considered confidential and is not to be discussed with other students.
  • Students may request a PA faculty advocate** to accompany them to the Student Progression Committee meeting, but the advocate must be approved or confirmed by the Program Director.
  • Students are not allowed to bring any outside advocates to any program related meetings.

 

*For students placed on behavioral probation:
  • Each episode of behavioral probation will have a duration of 12 weeks’ time. Any subsequent violation of the student conduct policies/standards and/or failure to meet the Program defined technical standards will automatically result in placement on another behavioral probation.
  • If students continue to exhibit behavioral issues while on behavioral probation, they will be automatically considered for deceleration or dismissal by the Student Progression Committee called at the discretion of the Program Director.
  • If students are placed on behavioral probation on more than one occasion, consecutive or nonconsecutive, they will automatically be considered for deceleration or dismissal at the discretion of the Student Progression Committee.
  • In addition to the above, a notation that the student had professionalism and/or conduct issues during their enrollment in the program, including but not limited to that the student was placed on Behavioral Probation, will be noted in any Program and/or faculty letters of reference/recommendation.

 

**The MPAS program has defined advocate as a member of the PA Program Faculty, excluding the program director, who functions to ensure that the student understands the allegation and the policies to which the allegation pertains. The advocate role is to ensure the student receives due process. A faculty member called to serve as a student advocate is recused from the decision-making process of the Student Progression Committee.

 

***Student Progression Committee meetings are considered confidential and may not be discussed with other students